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We study how changes to the common agricultural policy (CAP) affect eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. Our results indicate that if the entire first pillar of the CAP, containing the direct payments, greening and accompanying measures, were to be abolished, production and agricultural land use would be reduced while yields and fertilizer use per hectare would go up. Our computations indicate that the net effect of those opposite forces would be that nitrogen and phosphorus loadings from agriculture decrease, marginally improving indicators of good ecological status for eutrophication in the Baltic Sea, and thus that the first pillar contributes to aggravating eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.


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